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Universal apologizes for using male actor to dub Laverne Cox in Italian version of Promising Young Woman

·2 min read

Universal Pictures International has apologized for using a male actor to dub Laverne Cox's voice in the Italian-language version of Promising Young Woman, and the studio says it is working quickly to remedy the situation.

On Wednesday, The Guardian reported on the controversy that erupted when a clip of the Italian version of the Carrie Mulligan-starring film emerged featuring a deep male voice (Roberto Pedicini) overdubbing Cox.

Reacting to the outcry, Universal said in a statement provided to EW, "We are deeply grateful to Laverne and the transgender community for opening our eyes to a bias that neither we nor many in our industry had recognized. While there was no malicious intent behind this mistake, we are working diligently to fix it. We have begun re-dubbing Ms. Cox's voice with female actors in our international territories and are pushing back release dates to ensure the correct version is available. We are sorry for the pain caused but are thankful that we can address the situation on this film and prevent similar mistakes from happening again on future projects."

Merie Weismiller Wallace / Focus Features Laverne Cox in 'Promising Young Woman'

Italian trans actor and voice actor Vittoria Schisano told The Guardian she thought the dubbing was "insulting" and added, "I'd feel bullied if I were [Cox]." (She did, however, acknowledge the Universal's effort to "take a step back and try to fix it.")

Promising Young Woman wasn't the first time a male actor was used to dub Cox in another language. As The Guardian noted, a male actor dubbed Cox's character on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, trans inmate Sophia. Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cox is a noted LGTBQ+ activist. In 2014, she was honored by GLAAD with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award for her advocacy work for the transgender community. Elliot Page presented Cox with the award (you can watch Page's intro and Cox's speech below).

Representatives for Cox did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

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